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Special Writer’s Event

Alice in Wonderland White RabbitThe Books to Benefit Writer’s Event will feature a panel of local published authors and illustrators, who will share insights about the publishing process. The event will be held at the Books to Benefit storefront at 360 Wylie Drive, Suite 700 in Normal on Veteran’s Day, Saturday, November 11 from 1-3 p.m.

If you missed our $5 Book Lover’s Bag Sale, you have a second chance to make a purchase during the event.

Included in the writer’s panel will be:

Pete Altieri

author Pete AltieriVeteran Pete Altieri is a horror/suspense writer who was born in the Bronx, New York and spent much of his childhood in Bethel, Connecticut. He attended Western Connecticut State University and later served in the United States Army during the Desert Storm era with the famed 7th US Cavalry at Fort Hood, Texas. He was injured while serving stateside and that hasn’t stopped him.

Altieri began writing in 4th grade and never stopped. In early 2017 Altieri was a finalist in the TNT Horror Story Contest. After the contest Altieri’s popularity started to rise. He has written two novels, Six, and his latest, The Dreadful Lives of Enoch Strange, which he is currently submitting to literary agents.  He published a collection of his short stories, Blackened Spiral Down, on Amazon in 2016 and has a new short story collection, Creation of Chaos Volume I, that was published by Blunt Force Press both in print and as an eBook.

Altieri sold one of his stories, October House, to American Horrors for use in its new publishing division. He also creates scripts for the murder spoof, Murder He Did, a BOB FM radio show in Traverse City, Michigan.

His style is unique, blending suspenseful thrillers with elements of popular fiction. Altieri is a voracious reader. Among his favorite authors are: Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, William Peter Blatty, Erik Larson, Nelson DeMille, Greg Iles and Alexandre Dumas.

On a personal note, Altieri is a professional musician, songwriter, lyricist and music producer. He plays bass and sings for the heavy metal band Low Twelve. Low Twelve has finished recording the album Six, based on the same story line as his newest novel. The band’s songs have been featured on horror movies, including “Butcher Boys” and “Jigsaw.” Altieri’s lyrics appeared in the book, Touched By a Hero, based on the World Trade Center hero Rick Rescorla, who saved 2,687 people during 9/11.

He currently lives in Central Illinois. When he is not busy creating chaos, he enjoys spending time with his two adult children and two grandchildren.

You can learn more about Altieri through his website at www.PeteAltieri.com, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @AltieriPete.

Dewhitt Bingham

Dewhitt BinghamDewhitt Bingham was born and raised in Festus, Missouri, 25 miles south of St. Louis. After graduating from Festus Senior High School, he attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri where he majored in criminal justice. Bingham subsequently earned a master of applied science in criminal justice at Illinois State University.

Bingham’s experience in the criminal justice system is extensive: serving as a McLean County probation office for 30 years and teaching criminal justice classes at Heartland Community College for 20 years, where, in 2014, he received the Adjunct Faculty of the Year award.

Committed to making a positive impact in the community, Bingham has taken his expertise to next level. For 22 years he has served as a board of director for YouthBuild McLean County. He also has served as a church elder at Integrity Deliverance Ministry for 20 years.

Motivated to change the cycle of deadly killings between African American men and the police, Bingham drew on his professional experience in writing Hope Deferred Makes the Heart Sick: But When the Desire Comes It Is A Tree Of Life. Bingham argues a lack of hope is responsible for this deadly cycle in America. Bingham helps these groups challenge stereotypes and learn new behaviors, believing that, with hope, all things are possible.

Bingham is the proud father of two beautiful twins, Whitney and Dewhitt II, and grandfather to Juliana.

M. Piper

author Mallory PiperM. Piper has always been a romantic at heart. Growing up she didn’t dream of the fairy tale wedding. Instead, she was more interested to learn what brought a couple together and kept them together. That was the spark that started her writing romance novels. Piper believes that living in a fictional world, even for a short time, makes the world feel a little less crazy.

Her tagline, “When hot men and feisty women collide,” says it all. Her first kiss was with a boy that she’ll never forget because he was a jerk. But, don’t worry, she didn’t marry him!

Piper started writing because she was bored with the books she was reading. Each novel had the same storyline. So, she decided to spend her reading time writing, a decision she has never regretted. Like most authors, Piper recommends writing about what you love, which for her, is romance.

Don’t be fooled. If you think that she loves long walks on the beach, you are wrong. But, give her a beach chair and a good book, and she will love your forever.

Piper is happily married, has two small ninja boys and a dog that thinks she’s a ninja. She likes Fireball Whiskey on the weekends and lives of coffee and smart*** remarks seven days a week. Writing comes after the family has gone to bed, however, 6 a.m. still comes early, hence the coffee addiction!

Keeping the love in her relationship keeps her going. Her advice – be yourself, be honest and make time for one another.

You can check out her books at www.mpiperbooks.com or follow her on Facebook.

Amy Orwig

illustrator Amy OrwigAmy Orwig has been working as a freelance artist since ever since in high school, when she was asked to design a poster for a women’s group at her church. Orwig has always found joy in creative endeavors and especially enjoys illustrating. She received her bachelor of science degree in fine art from Illinois State University.

Orwig plans to do more illustrating in the future and has practical suggestions for any author who plans to work with an illustrator. Communicate your vision of the characters, sharing pictures and photos when possible. Artists are visual people. Getting a sense of what you envision helps bring your vision to life.

Ricky the Pirate Dog came to life after working closely with author Kristin Widun to create a cartoon dog that closely resembled Widun’s Shetland Sheepdog Ricky, who served as the inspiration for her children’t book. In the story, Ricky is a shy dog who dreams of someday becoming a fierce pirate. Along the way to becoming a leader, Ricky meets many new people He must find his voice to save the day.

She resides in central Illinois with her husband, two children, three cats and a dog.  Follow her on Facebook.

Sue Rovens

author Sue RovensSue Rovens is a local independent suspense and psychological horror writer and an active member of the Chicago Writers Association, who spends her working life around 1.6 million books as the Stacks Maintenance Manager at Milner Library at ISU.

Her two novels, Badfish and Track 9, are both character and plot driven. They expose the underbelly of people’s fears, concerns and personalities with a touch of horror and a broad brush of suspense. Roven’s other book, In a Corner, Darkly: Volume 1 is a collection of short stories along similar lines to “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery.” Volume 2 is scheduled to come out before the end of this year. It, too, will feature 15 short stories.

This month, she is working on novel #3, thanks to NaNoWRiMo (National Novel Writing Month). While that one won’t be ready for a while, her blog is very active — suerovens.com. Not only does she post information about her work, she also interviews other authors of ALL genres and posts the questions and answers to share with her blog followers and readers.

When not working on writing, she collects antique advertising, clocks and radios, watching movies, reading, and sampling cheese. Rovens also runs, slowly…geese have been known to out-lap her.